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NPA was formed as the British pig industry's single voice in a turbulent era of market failure, rampant disease, retailer duplicity, political infamy and a dysfunctional levy-board. It had a faltering first year, but these days a top-flight management team is in place and NPA continues to change the face of the British pig industry for the better.
|'As long as it doesn't
cost you a penny more...'
Press report, January 23, 1999
At Trafalgar Square the atmosphere became highly charged as Lincolnshire agricultural chaplain Gordon Gatward, of Bardney asked the protesters to lower their banners and stand in a gesture of solidarity with the many pig farmers who had already lost their livelihoods.
British Pig Industry Support Group chairman Stewart Houston told the protesters, "Every avenue has been explored, we' re at the bottom. We' re seeing farming businesses destroyed — pig farmers cashing in their pensions just to keep going a few more weeks."
Lincolnshire agricultural publisher, Digby Scott, of Benniworth, warned supermarkets that pigmen no longer had anything to lose by taking militant action against them.
"With this army here today we can close you down, distribution depot by distribution depot if that's what it takes. What's more we can do it peacefully and legally.
"Pig producers' patience is very nearly at an end. You say there isn't enough British pigmeat. What you mean is, there isn't enough at the paltry price you' re prepared to pay. You honour the United Kingdom-specification as long as it doesn't cost you a single penny more."
'Many are having to break into savings built up over many years or cash in pension schemes'
Press report, January 1999
"The breeding herd could be down by as much as 150,000 sows soon. Producers are losing money every week and many are having to break into savings built up over many years or cash in pension schemes," he said, adding that banks have been very understanding — so far.
"The crisis has hit my own business very badly. People imagine that I'm doing fine because they see me all the time with the BPISG, but it has been as hard for me as anyone because I have only been in the business a few years," he said.